Jarrett Singer said he has two loves of his life: his family and college football.Dating all the way back to his high school years, Singer’s passion for the pigskin began with his choice in college, and after attending University of Florida Gators games for four years, Singer said it “became more than just a football game.”Now, Singer, along with college friend Al Botta, is on a journey to visit every Division I college football stadium in the country — 120 to be exact.The quest, which began as more of a joke than anything else, said Jarrett’s wife, Beth Singer, is now in full swing, with the men kicking off their fourth year of traveling at Beaver Stadium.Both men have never attended a Penn State football game and are eager to see what the hype is all about. In the spirit of Penn State football, the men rented an RV for the weekend in hopes of tailgaiting with fans to get the true Happy Valley experience, Jarrett Singer said.“From the research I’ve done, this is a great tailgate school,” Singer said. “We figured we would do it the right way.”Botta agreed, adding that neither of the men has ever driven an RV — so navigating to Penn State could be interesting, he said. This week’s rainy weather is also throwing a wrench into plans, with potential relocation of tailgate spots.But bad weather won’t deter the seasoned veterans, as both are still recovering from Hurricane Irene’s wake New York homes. The men plan to arrive at about 7 a.m. Friday, Botta said, giving them plenty of time to check out the local attractions and do the “touristy stuff” before game day.“We somehow end up walking the entire campus wherever we go,” Botta said. “Traditionally, we go to the bookstore and wind up spending lots of money on things we don’t need.”
That’s not to say the men don’t have families waiting at home, Singer said.
His wife, Beth, cares for their two children while Jarrett is away at about four games each football season. Each trip typically takes up a full weekend with travel time, but Singer said his wife has always understood.
Beth Singer remembers meeting Jarrett early on in their relationship, more than 12 years ago, and joking with her brother that one day he would change, but some things never die. The game is a tradition for Jarrett Singer and a way to go back and remember his old college days, he said.
And that same school spirit is exactly what keeps Jarrett Singer and Botta coming back for more.
While Saturday will mark one of the biggest games in Penn State’s 2011 football season, the game is also one of the most anticipated for Singer and Botta’s trip as well. The men often choose big match-ups and rivalries for the year, admitting that they almost made the trip to Alabama last fall.
“I’m definitely looking forward to this game the most,” Botta said. “This was always on our list of top Big Tenschools.”